Principles Sermon Illustrations

Principles Sermon Illustrations

In the battle of Hampton Roads the dreaded ironclad Merrimac swept down the Union line, passed unscathed through their fire, and drove her iron beak crashing into the wooden sides of the Cumberland. As she backed from the wound the angry waters rushed in and the old frigate, stricken a mortal blow, lurched to larboard and sank beneath the waves. But look! As her keel touches the bottom she rights, her masthead reappears, and there, above the surging waves and through the lurid smoke of battle, there streams triumphant the Stars and Stripes! The ship may go down, and the cannon's roar may be hushed in the hissing seas; but the Principle is immortal and must prevail!


Shortly before the Civil War a young lawyer came down from Vermont and settled in Adams County, Pennsylvania. There he saw the fugitive slaves escaping from bondage, and as a conductor on the Underground Railroad he helped them to liberty. The iron of the thing entered into his soul and he gave himself with all his powers to combat that evil and to deliver all oppressed. When the great crisis, to which all those events were pointing, had broken over the nation, Thaddeus Stephens was perhaps the most powerful influence in the government of the United States. When he came to die, his only attendants were two Negro preachers. Today in the very midst of Lancaster, in a shabby cemetery, you can see his tomb, and on the tomb these words: "Finding that other cemeteries were restricted as to race by charter rights, I have chosen to lie in this humble spot, in order that I might testify, even in my death, to those principles which I have advocated through a long life."

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